I was a junior in high school. The iconic movie, “Love Story” was setting box office records. Everyone had seen it but me.
The story was about a couple named Oliver Barrett and Jenny Cavalleri who fell in love and got married with plans for a long and adventurous life together. The movie ended in tragedy when just a few years later Jenny died of an unknown illness.
Barely 16 with a new drivers license and facing the weekend before Valentine’s Day, I decided it was time to get a date for Saturday and go see it. I had no girlfriend at the time, but both of my best friends had “significant others” so I thought I should at least give love a chance. I remember taking my date to see “Love Story” hoping that she would find my selection at least mildly romantic and be impressed that I didn’t need my dad to drive us to the theatre.
The line from the movie that I’ll never forget came near the end when Oliver’s dad told his son that he was sorry about Jenny’s passing to which Oliver replied, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry!”
It just sounded weird from the moment I first heard it. “What? Run that by me again Ollie! Are you telling me that when I really love someone that there will never be a time when I’ll need to humbly admit an offense and seek reconciliation? Are you suggesting that my partner that I will behold someday in wedding white beauty and perfection is never going to disappoint me, not even once?”
You’re kidding me, right?
You don’t have to think about this line for long to realize how that the notion is just as ridiculous as it sounds. My wife, has heard the phrase “I’m sorry” hundreds of times from my lips. You can’t be married for over 37 years without mending the fence with apologies and forgiveness. We have learned to do second chances…a third and fourth time, I might add.
I’m glad to say, we’re still doing ’em.
I love the song “Broken Together” by Casting Crowns because it really puts lifelong love in the proper context.
After watching the video, you might think that I am making light of serious disappointments that threaten the break up of a marriage. I am not.
However, I have personally seen reconciliation happen when two people in love are willing to forgive and bring “shattered dreams” to the cross for healing and restoration. Don’t forget. Jesus is our model. He has overlooked many egregious failures of his Bride the Church and is willing to forgive without hesitation when we ask for it.
Of this I am convinced. True forgiveness is a necessary ingredient for a healthy, lifelong journey together. I’m glad to have a Valentine that loves me despite my flaws and love me, warts and all letting “I’m sorry” be the opening line of a new beginning.
Why not have this two word phrase as a part of your regular vocabulary and let healing begin? I’m just sayin’…
Something to think about.